Most of our body functions follow a daily cycle. Our weight fluctuates during the day and is maximum in the evening, our body temperature is highest in the evening, most of our hormones have their well defined periods of high and low secretions during the day and the most obvious of all the sleep – wake cycle. Therefore intrinsically the emphasis in our body is on natural cycles. In Sanskrit the daily routine is called the Dinacharya. Din means 'day' and acharya means 'to follow' or  'close to'.  To be 'close to the day' in this respect actually means to merge your daily cycle with the natural cycle of the Sun, Moon, Earth and the other planets in our Solar system.  The reason for this is that you’re most healthy and happy state is your most natural state, and vice versa.  Intrinsic to this natural state is the basic intelligence of everything from how a baby should take its first step to how the sperm should enter the egg to conceive the baby in the first place, to how a cell should remember when to live and when to die.
Dinacharya is one of the best things that you can do to stay in balance, prevent disease and treat almost any disease.  The Ayurvedic Rishis considered daily routine to be a stronger healing force than any other curative medicine and so devoted initial chapters in their books to this.
Everyday two waves of change pass through us, each bringing a Vata, Pitta and a Kapha cycle. The approximate times of these cycles are as follows:  

First cycle

6 A.M. to 10 A.M. - Kapha
10 A.M. to 2 P.M. - Pitta
2 P.M. to 6 P.M. - Vata
Second cycle

6 A.M. to 10 A.M. - Kapha
10 A.M. to 2 P.M. - Pitta
2 P.M. to 6 P.M. - Vata
Based on the above cycles the ideal schedule would be something like:


There is a time to wake up. It is called Brahma Muhurtha, which starts three hours before sunrise. Healthy persons, if they mind their health should rise up before sunrise – Ayurveda Acharyas say.

From 2 until 6, or until dawn, the Vata element is dominant.  Sometime during this period before dawn you should wake up. In Ayurveda the night is divided into 16 periods from sunset to sunrise.  The ideal time to arise is during the 14th period, which is about 2 hours before dawn, around 4:30 to 5.  This is the time when there is the most sattva in the air.  It is the most fresh and pure time of the day.  Some exceptions to this rule of rising are the very young, the old, parents with small children, and people with fevers or diarrhea.


Take a moment to see your true nature. Remember what you are. Fall into That. Don’t jump up from the bed immediately after waking up. Spend some time lying on the bed, assessing the state of the body. Are there any different feelings of pain or unnatural sensations on the body?

A good exercise to enhance memory and brainpower without medicines – bring to mind the things happened in the previous day from the moment you woke up to the moment you fell asleep. Teach children to follow this exercise the results will be sharper memory and better alertness.


Take a short stroll outside and soak up the good vibes. 


As soon as possible empty your colon and bladder.  If you wait until later in the morning or during the day you are slowly poisoning yourself and creating an opportunity for chronic conditions to arise. 


I guarantee that your view of the world and of yourself will change if you purify your senses everyday. Wash the eyes with rose water and Triphala to purify the sight.  Wash your ears and apply a tiny amount of sesame or almond oil in them to purify your hearing.  Brush your teeth and scrape your tongue with a tongue cleaner to purify your mouth and sense of taste.  You can monitor the condition of your body by observing the coating on your tongue every morning.  Gargle with warm water or herbal tea or a quarter cup of sesame oil to purify your voice and strengthen your teeth.  Finally do Jal neti and put a little oil in your nose to purify the sinuses and your sense of smell.  The traditional Dinacharya also recommends that you inhale the smoke of medicinal herbs every morning to purify the mind, head, face, neck and lungs.


Abhyanga is the name for oil massage.  The morning abhyanga is typically a self-massage.  It is one of the main ways that Ayurveda keeps us strong and prevents us from aging.  A major part of aging is the drying out of tissue that results in slower transport of nutrients into the cell and body and toxic wastes out of the body.  Oil massage removes this dryness, removes stagnated flows and organs, and nurtures your mind and your body. It also makes your skin look great if you use the right oil.
Vata Massage Oil Composition: Base Oils: Organic Sesame seed and Almond
Herbs:  Organic Ashwagandha root, Organic Gotu Kola leaf, Chamomile flowers, Organic Ginger root, Organic Licorice Root, Shatavri root, and Dong Quai root
Essential Oils: Lavender, Clary Sage, Jatamansi, Vetiver, Frankincense
Pitta Massage Oil Composition: Base Oils: Organic Olive and Organic Canola
Herbs: Organic Gotu Kola leaf, Organic Licorice Root
Fennel seed, Peppermint leaf
Essential Oils: Lavender, Peppermint, Jatamansi, Vetiver
Kapha Massage Oil Composition: Base Oils: Almond and Organic Canola
Herbs: Organic Gotu Kola leaf, Organic Ginger root
Essential Oils: Orange peel, Cedarwood, Clary Sage, Patchouli, Frankincense, Myrrh


Vyayama is the name for physical exercise.  This is usually yoga but it can be anything including a walk, tai chi, a swim or whatever.  This early morning exercise removes stagnation in the body mind, strengthens the digestive fire, reduces fat and gives you an overall feeling of lightness and Joy as it fills your body with good Prana.  It is not to be strenuous, no quarter mile sprints or racquetball, but more meditative and easy.  In fact, exercising at one fourth to one half of your capacity is recommended.  You want long deep breaths to absorb the Prana, not short quick shallow breaths.  Too much exercise will aggravate Vata and the blood and imbalances will follow.  The exercise will also help the oil that you just put on soak deep into your body and nourish all your tissues.


After exercise bath to remove any excess oil and dirt.  Both showers and bathtubs are recommended in the classics.  Usually warm water baths are suggested, but care should be taken not to put very warm water on the neck and head, as this will throw you off balance.  Bathing increases the digestive fire, especially if the water is a little cold.  Put on clean clothing after the bath and apply essential oils as you wish. Always put a tilak on forehead with sandalwood oil and use lavender instead of deodorant.  This is also the time to put on your gems if you want.  Gems and good clothes can increase intelligence and longevity, destroy inauspiciousness and attract good vibes.  The point is that you finish the bath feeling and looking so great that you are ready to face even God.  And indeed that is next.


For a few minutes to an hour sit down and see who you really are, focus on focus, put your attention on Awareness.  See and Be only Consciousness.  This is the most important aspect of Dinacharya.  The whole day, indeed the whole world, revolves around THIS.  Simply be quiet.  Sit in Peace as Peace for just a little while.


Take a light breakfast. Western science has studied the aging process for some time and has come up with only one practice that is definitely anti-aging.  This is to minimize calories while maximizing nutrients.  Think of this when you are deciding what to eat and fill your mind with gratitude and Love for your food as you eat.  Also, you may think that nobody does fire ceremonies anymore, but according to Ayurveda every time you eat you are offering your food to the fire of digestion so that this fire can carry the offering to the gods, and that is you.

LUNCH (10:30 A.M - 12:30 P.M)

You got up six or seven hours ago, you ate only a light breakfast.  Now you are really hungry.  This is great. If you want to really digest your food well it is best to put it on a hot fire and hunger indicates that you have one ready to go.  Eating food before the previous meal is digested is considered one of the main causes of disease.  It is also one of the hardest habits to get out of in our society where there is so much food everywhere.  This is the main meal of the day so eat a healthy nutritious meal that has moderate calories.  After the meal it is good to take a little walk, a couple hundred steps only, to help the food digest.


Sundown is a special time of balance between day and night.  In this balance it is easier for your mind to stop long enough so that you can see your Self.  This is the time for evening prayers and meditations in many cultures around the world.


Eat around 6 pm to 7pm. This meal should be lighter than lunch.  In fact, people doing spiritual practices often skip it entirely so that their early morning practices are crystal clear instead of having their awareness dulled and loaded down because dinner is still being processed.  After dinner take a Peaceful walk with family and friends.

From dinner to bedtime just takes it easy. Spend time with family, read, and relax. 


Around 10 go to sleep so that you can get 6 to 7 hours of sleep before 4:30 am.  A good practice is to massage the soles of your feet with calming oil before going to bed.  This will calm your system and promote well-being and remember to take your Triphala with warm water before sleep. It is also a good time to take your calming calcium citrate for strong bones and nerves. 
In the evening is the time to make Love with your Beloved, in a beautiful nurturing uplifting merging.  Men should try not to ejaculate, as this loss of sperm means a loss of vital energy in the form of Ojas.


People of different doshas will have slightly different versions of Dinacharya but this is the basic daily routine.  It is actually quite easy to follow when you are living in an Ashram in India, but it can be difficult to stick with in the Western world. Good Luck.  If you succeed just a little it is great. Slowly you can adjust your life to fit the natural rhythms of the earth, sun and moon.  You will absolutely notice the difference.  An Ayurvedic truism is this: